The precious stones that are fitted to silver charms and pendants often symbolise an important and meaningful connection between the gift giver and receiver, and this can be especially true for a stone as unique and filled with mystery as moonstone.
Sometimes known as hecatolite, moonstone casts a beautiful, mysterious glow that in part has led to its name; it references how the stone looks out of this world but is caused by a light process known as adularescence, where light scatters between different thin layers of stone.
It primarily gets its name from the Ancient Romans, who believed that the stone was made from rays of moonlight that had solidified and turned into the precious stone, and both they and the Ancient Greeks associated the stone with their moon goddesses Diana and Artemis respectively.
It has commonly also been used to signify a passionate love, particularly in India, where the stone is a traditional wedding gift, and in Europe where it was believed to bring estranged lovers back together.
Because of its mysterious glow, it has also been known as the Traveller’s Stone, as it was believed to protect people travelling at night.
Interestingly it became the Florida State Gemstone in 1970, due to the Apollo 11 mission to the moon taking off from Kennedy Space Centre. Interestingly enough, the gemstone does not naturally occur in Florida.
More recently, during the Art Nouveau period of art, moonstone became popular again, as René Lalique and other popular jewellers of the era used the gem for its otherworldly aesthetic. This would repeat in the 1960s and the New Age movement of the 1990s.